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Modern Rock Live (US, radio)
January 26, 1997


telephone interview

Hosted by Tom Calderone

Tom: We wanted to bring on the phone tonight an artist who joined us back in, actually almost a year ago, in February. She just performed a special benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the benefit was for RAINN - the rape, abuse and incest national network. Please welcome to the phones, Tori Amos. Hi Tori.

Hi Tom.

Tom: Thanks so much for calling us. I know you have an incredibly busy schedule. Thanks for checking in with us and kinda talk about, I guess, next step for Tori Amos in this benefit concert that's not just a concert but this is gonna be a year-long awareness event. Explain it to us.

Um , Calvin Klein has committed to putting up one of the items in the CK line, in the Calvin Klein line, for about twelve months. So, one month it's socks, one month it's eyewear. And a percentage of whichever that item is is going to RAINN. And RAINN is really about - we're the hotline side of it. So um, basically we're a networking system and we connect you to a rape crisis center, and we pick up the phone call's expenses. That's what we do.

Tom: Right. By the way, the phone number is 1-800-656-HOPE. And again, it's toll-free, the number can't be traced, so you can talk to someone without the fear of someone finding out, you know, where you are, maybe the person that you're reporting finding out that you actually called in. Tori, explain how you got involved with this benefit.

Um, I wrote a song called Me and a Gun and it uh... well, I got a lot of letters from it... to the point where two years ago, on the Under the Pink tour, I was getting so many letters I realised that I wasn't equipped to know how to answer some of these questions because you only know your own experience. I was really out of my depth and, you know, you don't really know what to do with somebody else's... path. And um... I was lucky enough to have worked with people that helped to take me to my next step. So it became clear that a lot of people don't have that advantage. Um, one night there was a girl that was brought backstage who was really upset and I went in to her and she said, "Can I come home with you?" And I said, "Why do you want to do that?" And she said, "Because my stepfather raped me last night, he'll rape me tomorrow night, and he's gonna rape me tonight when I get home. Can I please come with you?" So you can imagine the whole trauma that was going on backstage. I was gonna take this girl with me, we were crossing state lines, my manager got on the phone, I was told I'd be charged with kidnapping. I mean, it was just like, endless.

Tom: Wow.

So um, I just sat down there and said, "Arthur, you can't be serious. You're telling me that we can't do something to help this girl? We're gonna get in trouble? And if she's gonna get home and be violated again, this is ludicrous." And yeah, well that's the way the law works. Sometimes. So we decided, what can we do to try and get people in contact with people who can really help them. And that was the beginning of RAINN.

Tom: Yeah. I guess to some extent, you know, from your past experiences, as painful as they are, you feeling some type of, if not cleansing is maybe not the right word, at least a kind of fulfillment in your life saying you've worked through your own difficulties getting through this and now helping other people getting through it. I mean, are you feeling that kind of energy from this?

I think something's happening, Tom, on the planet where it's just not ok to be property anymore. Whoever you are, you're not somebody's property. And for a long time, if you weren't the right race and the right sex -- whatever that was at that time on earth -- you were property. And that's not ok anymore. Although it's still exercised every day, in places it is breaking down. And that program is breaking down. It's been breaking down for a long time, but I think now, just um, it seems to be louder than it's ever been. And it really starts with speaking up. That's why when the phrase for RAINN became "Unlock the Silence," inspired by Silent All These Years, it just sort of made sense that Silent All These Years was the song that got played associated with the awareness of RAINN.

Tom: And that single that you just mentioned, Silent All These Years, is being re-released, I guess, having another run with you as far as the high profile to connect to RAINN. And I just wanted to thank you for taking some time out to talk to us about this and to let anyone know, again, that the phone number is 1-800-656-HOPE and Modern Rock Live's been very pro-active for making sure people get that phone number. And Tori, we appreciate you taking time and good luck with this um, I guess this cause is gonna take a long time for you to connect as many people as you can, but we appreciate the energy that are going into it.

Well the main thing is, just if I can say, if it's busy, try again because not all the rape crisis centers have people 24-hours a day. Bigger cities do, some do, but some don't. So sometimes if the lines are flooded, I'm just asking you to stick with it because, you know... there will be somebody there eventually, but that means that there are other people calling and it is in like, a queu system. So there are people there and I just hope people don't give up on it. Ok?

Tom: Yeah, keep trying if it's busy. And Tori, please come back in a few months and keep us updated on how the project is going and what else we can do to help. Again, the phone number is 1-800-656-HOPE. And we're gonna listen to Tori's single right now called Silent All These Years, for RAINN, on Modern Rock Live.

[transcribed by jason/yessaid]

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